mulch by yard?

Discussion in 'Landscape Architecture and Design' started by AMAC, Jan 14, 2004.

  1. AMAC

    AMAC LawnSite Member
    from MO
    Messages: 101

    I have always estimated a mulch job by doing this - (cost of mulch to do a job) x 4 and have usually made a profit. I am very interested in doing it by the yard, how do you measure by the yard and how much time does it take to lay a yard of mulch?
  2. rkbrown

    rkbrown LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 533

    Lets suppose you want to do an area that is 10' x 20'. Lets further assume that you want it 3" deep.

    sq ft to be covered: 10 x 20 = 200 sq ft.
    make into cubic ft (multiply sq ft. by height): 200 sq ft * (3/12) = 200 * .25 = 50 cubic ft.

    Now convert into cubic yards (there are 27 cubic feet in a cubic yard):

    50/27 = 1.85 cubic yards (so you buy 2 cubic yards).


    1. Get square feet.
    2. Multiply by height (usually a fraction of a foot) to get cubic feet.
    3. Divide cubic feet by 27 to get cubic yards.

    You can also use this website to get a mulch calculator:

    I budget 1 hr/yard if it is just dump and smooth. If there are lots of small plants that I need to get around I budget about 1.5 hrs/yd. This is working alone.
  3. Hamons

    Hamons LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 706

    When I sell mulch jobs I sell it by the yard. I measure all of the beds and then figure 1 yard for every 100 feet if doing all new mulch about 3" deep.

    Price is dependent on how much whellbarrow work there is and what type of mulch I am using. It starts out at about $65.00/yd installed
  4. WeatherMan

    WeatherMan LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 692

    This is how I estimate it:

    Measure your area with the wheel, now we know there 27cf per yard. So use this formula: Take the square feet of the area, multiply by the depth in feet, and divide by 27. This will give you the best guess of all.

    Now what to charge: We have a min. of $75.00 per yard of mulch, if the install has a little difficult to it we bump that up to $95.00 per yard.

    Hope this helps
  5. kris

    kris LawnSite Bronze Member
    from nowhere
    Messages: 1,578

    Let me get this straight ..if it cost you $10 for a yard of mulch and the job you bid needs 1 yard you would charge $40.00? Yikes! There has got to be hundreds of threads on a search.
  6. NCSULandscaper

    NCSULandscaper Banned
    Messages: 1,557

    All i do is find my sq footage and divide by 100 for 2-3" depth. The answer you get is the cu.yrds you will need.
  7. GarPA

    GarPA LawnSite Silver Member
    from PA
    Messages: 2,585

    like NCSU says above...keep it simple with that method....and ALWAYS estimate at least a half yard more than you think you'll need...nothing worse than installing 10 yards on a Friday afternoon and its 4pm and you keep starting at the little pile that keeps getting smaller and smaller and then you accept the fact you're going to have to come back Monday with a measely half yard more to finish.!!!
    And then that little voice says to you "you are a real idiot...when will you learn to always bring 10% more mulch than your measurements tell you"....and then the following week I do the same stupid thing...again

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